Pirates Cove Scuba's certified instructors imbue beginning or advanced pupils with the requisite knowledge and techniques for plunging beneath aquatic surfaces and stock a full selection of dive equipment to help them to breathe easier while below. After briefings expound on what participants should expect when underwater, one-hour introductory courses gradually familiarize students with navigating H2O while wearing scuba gear before they explore the unseen depths and sunken pool-noodle wrecks of Pirates Cove Scuba's pool.
Open-water certifications expand on introductory knowledge with further classroom and pool study. Full-certification-seekers conclude schooling during scheduled weekend lake trips, which include four dives in open-water environments that, if properly performed, earn former novices final certification and congratulatory smooches from impressed catfish. To keep divers submerging in style, Pirates Cove Scuba carries equipment from Dive Rite, Henderson, and Seadive, which aquanauts can don on trips to Cozumel and other tropical destinations booked through the dive shop's travel desk.
Whether at the retail store or beneath the water's surface, Bluewater Divers' crew maintains a commitment to helping their customers live life to the fullest. The staff, which includes PADI-certified instructors as well as an aptly named director of happiness, leads scuba classes at heated pools, natural bodies of water, or inside their own imaginations. After students master beginner courses, instructors can help them obtain PADI certification for open-water diving in the deep blue or learn advanced skills such as rescue diving. It’s not uncommon for students to foster new friendships with other divers or their instructors, especially during the school’s regularly scheduled social events and diving trips.
An authorized dealer for many leading brands, Bluewater Divers’ staff keeps the shop filled with necessary scuba equipment and accessories. The crew also runs a demo department, which lets divers test gear before they commit to living inside a giant fishbowl.
At The Scuba Shack, the staff’s family-oriented lessons encourage divers to take social rather than solo ventures into the blue beyond. Each instructor carries an impressive résumé of underwater travels—the head trainer has been diving for more than 20 years and others have logged more than 1,000 dives. Captaining PADI-certification courses and specialty seminars—which cover topics such as night diving, photography, and fish identification—they take groups on open-water excursions to area lakes and Clear Spring Scuba Park. They prioritize educating their charges with safe and enjoyable teachings, rather than monotonous quizzes on whether the bends is a serious health issue or a 1980s punk band. With trips to dive sites in Fiji and Mexico, they introduce divers to the visual wonder of reefs and aquatic wildlife throughout the world.
For more than 26 years, the fitness experts at Push Pedal Pull have shared their knowledge with customers purchasing new and used muscle-pumping equipment. The staff happily equips exercisers with brawn-building devices for home, commercial, and hovercraft-based gyms, such as treadmills, ellipticals, and free weights from brands including Precor, Everlast, and Spri. Push Pedal Pull’s refurbished selection of used equipment from health clubs and commercial fitness facilities rotates regularly, stocking workout rooms for discounted prices. Manufacturer-certified equipment technicians repair malfunctioning equipment according to manufacturer standards and stock spare parts in the store to speed up repairs so customers can return to running, lifting, and astrally projecting as soon as possible.
Since its founding in 1980, Sun & Ski Sports has remained true to its philosophy: “do a few things, but do them better than anybody else.” The shop stocks equipment in five categories of extreme and outdoor activities, including camping, skating, running, bicycling, and water and snow sports. It specializes in these to ensure its merchandise maintains a high standard of quality, and its employees are knowledgeable participants in the sports their department represents.
Bikers can drop off their steeds for tune-ups from certified mechanics who put all brands through the rigors of a 12-point inspection, checking chains and adjusting wobbly pedals and malfunctioning spoke-card motors. While waiting, curious eyes might linger on a North Face two-person tent, a Blackburn Airtower bicycle pump, or a vast selection of shoes from brands such as New Balance and Asics. Men and women can traipse nearly barefoot in the park with Vibram FiveFingers, which offer minimal structural encumbrances for a more natural stride, or cast their feet aside for the new-wheeled prowess that comes with a Fuji SL-1 LE Ultegra performance road bike.
Owned and operated by a cadre of local bikers, Melonbike secures its cycling clientele with the knowledge that their bikes are in good hands. Regular tune-up services ready bikes for urban streets and mountain paths, and installation services allow riders to add new fenders and a rack. The shop also stocks new bikes by brands such as Felt, GT, Schwinn, and KHS, along with the parts to keep them in pedaling order.